By continuing to use the site you agree to our Privacy & Cookies policy

Your browser seems to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser.


Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.


David Partridge: Diversity is key to King's Cross' success

Five years since Argent last addressed an AJ100 Breakfast Club, joint chief executive David Partridge told delegates at the quarterly Claridges event this morning: ‘There is a diversity of different uses at its heart – that makes King’s Cross a place that people want to go to’

In a wide-ranging talk about Argent’s concept of ‘whole placemaking’, Partridge also touched upon the crucial role infrastructure plays in making places work, the meaning of sustainability, why the designers they work with have to understand the market Argent aims for and the developer’s new status as an LLP.

Partridge, described the 27 hectare site, ‘as very much a work in progress’ that couldn’t have happened without Argent’s £250 million investment in site infrastructure, including a district-wide heating system. ‘Altogether, including the works upgrading St Pancras and King’s Cross station, the total infrastructure spend is in the region of ‘£4 billion’ he said.

But the real success of King’s Cross, comes from its mix of function. Partridge was especially pleased with the impact Stanton William’s University  of the Arts, London retrofit of the Granary warehouse. ‘It brings culture and fashion right into the heart of the site’ he said. Partridge also praised the quality of housing schemes recently and nearing completion by PRP and Macreanor Lavington.

On sustainability, Patridge said: ‘It’s not just about getting BREEAM excellent, or even installing a district heating system. We think that’s normal. For us, sustainability is about creating projects that live on after the development phase. You need to build in bottom-up entrepreneurial thinking in the places you create.’

Discussing Birmingham, where Argent ‘first cut its teeth’ on its Brindley Place development, Patridge said architects still had to be appointed to a number of sites for the Paradise Circus, masterplanned by Glen Howells. ‘That will take shape over the next 3-10 years. We’re looking at 8-10 buildings to move forward.’

On becoming an LLP, Partridge said it will help Argent fund projects in new ways, without having to recycle monies from plot sales.

Glenn Howells' Eleven Brindleyplace - an Argent development

Glenn Howells’ Eleven Brindleyplace - an Argent development

Subscribe to AJ for £3 per week

Subscribe today and receive 47 issues of the magazine, 12 issues of AJ Specification and full access to and the AJ Buildings Library

Are you a student?

Students can subscribe to the AJ for £8 per month or £1.60 per week! Click here to start receiving the most recommended magazine for architecture students

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment.

Related Jobs

Sign in to see the latest jobs relevant to you!

The searchable digital buildings archive with drawings from more than 1,500 projects

AJ newsletters